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Nom Nom Nom: Venus Fly Traps!

19 Jun

Carnivorous Flora: Hungry Little Plants

Ack! It's hungry!

Ack! It’s hungry!

Hello Bloomies,

I’m excited to give you a peek into another side of my personality and discuss something that’s been fascinating to me almost my entire life: Venus Flytraps!

Feed Me, Seymour!

I am 99% certain the obsession started with Little Shop of Horrors. A story about a man-eating plant? Awesome! Of course, unless they’re from another planet or have been given a comic book sized dose of radiation, Venus Flytraps don’t actually get big enough to eat entire people, but the concept is fun and lets the imagination wander.

Venus Flytraps are ancient plants; one of several hundred species of carnivorous plants that trap, eat, and digest other living creatures. They are actually native to North and South Carolina, but are endangered, and are mostly propagated in green houses for sale.

Caring for Your Venus Flytrap

They prefer LIVE prey, as they need the motion of the bug to cause the trap to shut and start the digestive process. You can feed them dead bugs, but then you have to squeeze the trap shut and move the food around yourself. Yuck! If the bug is too big, the plant may actually die. Feeding them a live bug a couple of times a month is usually enough.

Add Some Excitement to Your Plant Collection!

They don’t survive if cut, so they don’t go well in arrangements, but would be a fun addition to a plant basket, or a fun “floral” gift for a young scientist.Want one? They’re on Amazon. If you’re in the Portland area, check out cobraplants.com. They have the three most common carnivorous houseplants for sale. Their website is set up to help you figure out the best plant for your indoor OR outdoor needs.

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We’re Moving to a Newsletter!

12 Jun

Heads up, Bloomies! Some fresh new changes are in the works!

Coming soon, we’ll be moving to a newsletter format rather than the blog. We’re still making sure everything is picture-perfect for our readers, but we’ll be sure to notify you when we’re ready for you to subscribe.

Thanks for reading! Have a beautiful day!

Five Easy Ways to Bring Spring Inside

29 May

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Pink Tulips in the RainSpring is experiencing some technical difficulties here in the Pacific Northwest, it seems—our April showers have brought May showers, too! With constant rain and chilly temperatures, it can be easy to forget that it really is Spring, and things really are growing and blooming and alive!

Five Ideas for Using Flowers in your Home

Any space looks better in color, and what better way to add color than through beautiful, living flowers? Bring spring indoors with these ideas.

 Wreaths

A wreath of spring flowers on your front door is a welcome sight to guests who come to your home. It makes them feel more at home, and reminds them of sunshine and beautiful spring weather—even if they ran through the  pouring rain to get to your front door!

 Spring Garlands

Normally we think of garlands on the mantel as something we do during the holidays. Not so fast! Spring garlands can be a beautiful way to bring color into your home. A bright, lovely strand of flowers or leaves is a quick reminder that spring is here.

Potted Plants

Potted plants are another great way to bring the outdoors in. Tulips and miniature roses are two good choices, and can be transplanted outside when you are done enjoying them in the house.

Succulents

Succulent arrangements make for wonderful centerpieces or to enjoy grouped together with other arrangements. You can buy succulents already arranged at a flower shop, or you can get your hands dirty and create your own. Find books at your local library if you need ideas to get started.

 Bouquets

Traditional bouquets are always a safe and easy bet. They look good in any corner of the house, are easy to care for and are also a great gift idea. If someone you know is feeling a little down with all the rain, bringing them a bouquet of flowers in their favorite color is a sure way to cheer them right up.

There you have it, Bloomies! Use these tips and your home will be bright and happy in no time!

Spring Break

6 Apr

Hi Bloomies…

I just wanted to check in and say hi. I’m on Spring Break, but I’ll be back at the blog on Wednesday!

Have a beautiful week!

JessRoses and Hydrangeas

What Your Favorite Flower Says About You

20 Feb

Find Meaning in Your Favorite Flowers

If you cant pick a favorite, just go with a little bit of everything!

If you cant pick a favorite, just go with a little bit of everything!

Every flower has some meaning attached to it, and we use those meanings to send the appropriate message with our arrangements. For instance, we all know that yellow roses are a symbol of friendship and fidelity, while red roses are for love and romance. Did you ever think about what flowers can say about you though?

We all have our favorite flowers, regardless of the meaning. Certain flowers just speak to us individually, and we just love them. There’s no real reason why one person loves Tulips and the next person loves Peonies. When we look into it though, a lot can be learned about a person from their favorite bloom.

11 Common Favorite Flowers and What They Say About You

Rose

Roses are timeless and classic. If roses are your favorite flower, you probably appreciate the finer things in life, and might be a bit old fashioned, in the best of ways.

Peony

Peonies are soft and full, dainty but not petite- there’s a lot of flower in each bloom. Peony admirers are full of heart, just like the flower: true romantics, and good listeners.

Orchid

Orchids are exotic and delicate, but survive on scraps of wood and little water. Orchid lovers are just as tenacious, thrive in any condition, and look good doing it!

Sunflower

Sunflowers are big and bold. Sunflowers on your desk top tell the world that you’re not afraid to take what’s yours and speak your mind.

Tulip

Tulips work well in many styles of arrangements, in just about any setting. Tulip lovers are easy going and competent, equally at ease in the board room as in the wilderness.

Daffodil

Daffodils are some of the first blooms to pop up in spring. They’re the go to flower for optimistic, hard working types.

Lily

Lilies are vibrant and smell delectable, adding a lot of energy to a room. Lilies appeal to those who are sensuous and generous with everyone around them.

Cala Lily

Cala Lilies have a certain understated aura of class and grace. Cala Lily fans are equally refined and have high standards.

Hydrangea

Hydrangeas have such big poms, but each bloom is made up of so many individual flower-ettes and petals.  If Hydrangeas make you smile, you’re great with the details, but don’t lose sight of the big picture.

Anenome

Anemones are quirky and fun, but work well in just about any kind of arrangement. If these cute little flowers tickle your fancy, you’re probably a team player who brings out the best in those around you.

What is your favorite flower and what does it say about you?

Flowers for Kids: Five Tips for Choosing an Arrangement

23 Jan

Think Flowers for Kids: They’ll Love Them as Much as You Do!

This bright woodland themed kids arrangement with a cute bird would brighten any sick kid's day.

This bright woodland themed kids arrangement with a cute bird would brighten any sick kid’s day.

Happy Wednesday, Bloomies!

So I’ve been thinking a lot about kids. I heard a sad story about a girl with Leukemia. And one about an entire family of flu-bugged children. Poor little nuggets!

It’s so easy to think of adults in the hospital needing some cheer and well wishes. But, kids get sick and hurt, too. And lots of times it can be really scary to be so little and not know what’s going on. Guess what? Kids like flowers as much as adults!

When I was little, my mom would sometimes get me a stuffed animal clutching a single stem of freesia, or a rose; a little token as a “Good Job, ” or “Congratulations!” for a good report card or for making Honor Roll. Those small gestures made me feel loved and very grown-up. My very own flowers!

Tips for Choosing Flowers for Kids

Wanting to continue the tradition? Here are some pointers:

Keep It Small

Kids don’t need a 100.00 blowout to feel appreciated. A bud vase, or a stuffed animal holding a little something can often mean more. Kids love when stuff is “kid sized,” and flowers are no exception.

Cheerful Colors

Think bright, fun colors. All white probably won’t grab their attention. Find out their favorite color and use it.

Include Toys or Sweets

Add a “trinket”- a cute little bird, a little box with goodies inside, or some candy with their flowers make it super child friendly.

Fragrance Free

While there might not be any allergies to flowers in the recipient, you should avoid sending scented flowers to the hospital. Advise your florist of chemo treatments or hospital stays. It helps us make the correct floral choices.

Pick a Theme

Even if you don’t include a trinket or stuffed animal, they might have a favorite game, show or character whose colors or concepts can be integrated into the arrangement.

Are the ideas flowing? Great! Find a deserving child and order them some flowers!

Three Edible Flowers You Can Serve at Your Next Dinner Party

16 Jan

Edible Flowers Bring Color and Interest to Your Table

Edible flowers bring simple elegance to your table.

Edible flowers bring simple elegance to your table.

Have you ever tried edible flowers? They are a great way to bring vibrant colors and a unique twist to your table. We’re all accustomed to using herbs for flavor and interest on the plate, but we rarely make the leap to edible flowers.

You can now find fresh petals packaged in the same aisle as the herbs we use so routinely, so there’s no excuse for not brightening your next dinner party with edible flowers on the plate (and of course a stunning arrangement on the table top.) If you can’t find them at the supermarket, many can be grown right in your own backyard. Start planning now for a tasty and gorgeous summer harvest.

A word of warning, make sure you know for certain that the flower you put on the plate is edible. Just because it came on the cake, doesn’t mean it should go in your mouth. If your uncertain, don’t eat it. Also, you’ll want to make sure you use food grade flowers, that are pesticide free. If you buy the packs in the supermarket or grow your own you’ll be fine.

Three Ways to Incorporate Edible Flowers at Your Next Shindig

Pansies

Pansies come in a wide variety of colors, but most often in some luscious shade of purple or brilliant shade of yellow. They have a mild minty flavor that makes them really easy to use. They will work well in savory or sweet dishes alike.

  • Toss them into a salad for a colorful twist on plain greens. What an easy way to impress your guests!
  • Decorate sweets with a single blossom. Think lemony cupcakes with a delicate flower on top.
  • Wrap them into spring rolls. Since you can see through the translucent rice paper wrappers, you can line up a few tiny blooms on the outside layer of fillings for a beautiful presentation.

Rose Petals

Roses are such a classic flower, that it’s hard not to love the idea of roses in your food. They have a strong, sweetish flavor, and much of their culinary interest comes from their fragrance. Our experience of food is very much determined by smell, so roses are a particularly appealing. The more fragrant the better when it comes to edible roses.

  • Spread a bit of rose petal jelly on toast with butter as a light appetizer. You can make your own or you might find some at upscale grocers. Talk about a sophisticated snack!
  • End the meal on a mellow note with rose petal tea. While coffee is a typical meal ender, not everyone wants to head into the night with a head of caffeine. Rose petal tea is a great way to end a meal.
  • Make rose petal vinegar to highlight this super fragrant edible flower. Pour boiling rice wine vinegar over rose petals. Let them steep for a week then use the vinegar for salad dressings and more.

Lavender

While lavender might qualify more as an herb than an edible flower, it is incredibly versatile. It is a classic flavor in many places, and it’s so easy to grow your own.

  • Celebrate your friends with delicious lavender cocktail. This one looks delightful, and easy to make!
  • Serve a main course with a lavender spice mix. Roast lamb with Herbs-de-Provence, a French spice mixture that includes lavender. For a vegetarian crowd, there’s nothing quite like garden fresh rattatoullie, complete with lavender.
  • Bake lavender into your favorite bread recipe for a simple and creative twist on the dinner staple. Serve hot with fresh butter. I guarantee there won’t be left overs!